Judge overturns suspension of Brazil's Belo Monte dam

BRASILIA Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:34am BST

A group of Amazon Indians protests on an earth barrier that is part of the construction of the massive Belo Monte hydroelectric dam, in Vitoria do Xingu July 7, 2012. REUTERS/Lunae Parracho

A group of Amazon Indians protests on an earth barrier that is part of the construction of the massive Belo Monte hydroelectric dam, in Vitoria do Xingu July 7, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Lunae Parracho

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BRASILIA (Reuters) - A Brazilian judge said on Monday construction could resume on the controversial $13 billion Belo Monte dam in the Amazon, alleviating concerns that key work would not be done ahead of the rainy season.

The judge overturned an order by a lower court that had suspended work last week but still has to consider the merits of the case.

The lower court had called for an immediate halt to construction after years of high-profile criticism. The likes of Hollywood director James Cameron and the Inter-American Court on Human Rights have said Belo Monte would displace indigenous people in the Amazon rain forest.

President Dilma Rousseff, however, has said such mega dams are needed to meet the energy demands of Brazil's growing consumer class.

The Norte Energia consortium building the dam, which is set to start producing electricity in 2015, includes utilities Eletrobras, Cemig and Light.

(Reporting by Leonardo Goy; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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